hello gainesville!

well, i’m settling down in yet another temporary home.  i guess i’m starting to get good at this.  anyway, i am now in gainesville, fl doing a year of post-baccalaureate studies at the university of florida.  gainesville and uf are both quite nice places.  really a breath of fresh, oxygen rich air after philadelphia.  philly is a amazing city but i am amazed at the unconscious sigh of relief i breathe when i look around and see so much green. proximity is much improved.  i’m back to an 8 block (ish) bike ride to the studio which is sweet.  this is a much bigger program then i’ve ever been a part of so space is limited, there is a snap of my work space above.  this decrease in personal space is more than made up for in the huge and wonderful community, faculty and facility.

my favorite piece of equipment, at the moment, is the test soda kiln.  it’s a small soda kiln that shares a chimney with a regular sized soda kiln(very similar to the soda kiln at the clay co.).  it’s just one shelf (12×24) deep and you can stack 3-5 up depending on what your making.  it’s firing away right now.  very excited to see what comes out.

getting ready for atomic.

small wall piece, wood/salt fired.

last year i wrote about shopping at the atomic holiday bazaar in sarasota, fl.  this year i’ll be there selling my work.  i was honored to be selected and even more honored to be rocking my space with team sarasota!

small wall piece, soda fired porcelain.

i know it’s going be a good time.  last year i ran into an old friend who i hadn’t seen since before cell phones and internet!  crazy.

get to the bazaar early for sweet swag bags including some tiny sculptures by me!

small wall piece, soda fired porcelain, lots of yummy carbon trapping...


my clay co shelf near entrance...

back shelf/tide pool.

today i unpacked the work i’d taken with me to “eclectic and then some”.  since most of the smallies had just come out of the kiln they hadn’t made it to the shelf before heading over to gulfport.  these are some quick snaps, but you get the idea of my shelf space at the clay co.  i am really loving the pieces all together like this.

john cage says “Rule 8: Do not try to create and analyze at the same time. They are different
processes.”   gettting a look at everything together, the low fire wall pieces i made about a year ago and the small ones which i made a couple of weeks ago really get’s my brain going.  the collection in the second picture feels like a display case of a natural history museum.  shells?  fossils?  an aquarium?  this is the kind of situation i would like to put people in.  and then they realize they can take a little piece of the display home with them.

welcome to my collection of specimens…

small, large, wood, soda…

as i’ve been working on these wall pieces the studio has been full of frenetic energy.  lots of people firing different kilns and in different ways.  also, i’ve been working with different types of clay.  most/all of the compost show was highwater p10 porcelain.  i love p10 because i am able to build with it so effortlessly.  especially when coiling.  but with the wall pieces above i have used highwater p10 and helios, matt long’s porcelain and a flashing porcelain one of the former residents mixed up before he left.  i’ve got maybe 50 pounds of that left, and unfortunately he didn’t use a recipe but all this variety in workability and fire color has me amped up to research more porcelain recipes and develop one i like.

i have been seeing ceramic surface everywhere i look.  carbon trapping brains in the mackerel clouds when they get all skippy and black and white across the sky or fire color in j.q.’s roommate’s dog’s fur or the other night when i was watching grey’s anatomy and saw my the wood fired surface in patrick dempsey’s facial hair.


gearing up…

haven’t posted in awhile because i’ve been meaning to take some pictures but keep leaving my camera at work!  november is going to be a crazy month, lots of great stuff going on.  first of all, us a.i.r.s will load and fire the wood train kiln monday.  it will be my first time firing this kiln.  i missed out on a fun filled, peanut butter cup s’mores laden firing last month when i was out of town so i’m really looking forward to this.

wood train

last month's wood train. with autio platter. yay! pic by red.

next up i’ll be rocking a soda kiln.  i think j’s going to join me in firing, very exciting.  i’ve been “cranking’ out work, but for me that never means too much, too slow and trudgy.  especially since my show opened, it’s been hard to get back to the grindstone.  this week so far i’ve almost finished 10 small wall peices.  i’m working on tiny versions of my flora peices, in hopes of trying them in a few different kilns and also, getting them out to people for a more affordable price.

three sales coming up, eclectic and then some in gulfport, fl (will post info next wed.), atomic holiday bazaar (check out vendors now and start planning) and SPCC’s annual holiday sale.

spcc will also host 3 artists this month.  matt long, john ballisteri and don reitz will spend a week and a little with us making work in preparation for the anagama firing in january.  i’ll take the whole time off work to be around and help.  john and don were here firing the anagama on my way in to the residency so it’s very fitting to have them here on my way out as well.

i’ve got a few shows lining up but more on those later.

more in november and then….december.  proper pics and posts coming soon.


it’s 6:35 in the morning

i’m blogging from st. pete clay.   firing the soda for one of the owners.  very exciting to have the internet while firing.

it’s actually not that hot yet today and there is not a swarm of mosquitos surrounding me which is a change from the norm.  i guess fall is really here.  needless to say, the first squeaks of fall  in florida do not prompt sweaters and jeans, just less sweat overall.

firing the soda

firing the soda

getting amped.

tomorrow is j’s closing reception.  the show has been open all week.  if you haven’t seen it yet i would definitely recommend coming out tomorrow.

monday the show will come down and i’ll get down to the business of installing.  can’t say much at this point except that i am very appreciative of everyone who is helping everything along.  i am highly stressed!  but so much awesomeness is happening simultaneously.  i got a very exciting invitation to show in march as part of a four person show.

my brain is getting ready to explode, but in a good way, often.  just need to get through this week.

ok, here is a little preview from the kiln i just opened…

wall peice peeking out.

wall peice peeking out.

wall piece...

wall piece...

this one will hang...

this one will hang...

all the fireworks in the air must of put the good stuff in.

soda fire 2 004

soda fire 2 012

soda fire 2 013

soda fire 2 017

soda fire 2 023

soda fire 2 026

this little guy was refired.

this little guy was refired.



i had some cracks come up along the coil lines.  don’t know why since they aren’t going all the way through and i smoosh on both sides of my coils.  i don’t mind because they only come out after an atmospheric firing and i feel they are in line with the anphibian like skin.  the stress of the enviroment causing crackles and ruptures.  and they aren’t structural, i don’t think.  i’m going to experiment with bisquing a little higher and see if that helps.  one of the chicken butts had a long crack across it.  again it didn’t go through, but i didn’t like how wide it got.  too distracting.  the same peice had a big ol’ dry spot on the whole back side, so i refired it this week, again getting lots of juicy soda and carbon trapping and filling in that crack a little so it looks like a healing froggy scar.

it’s so fun firing this kiln up.  we’ve gotten the results we were after but it’s all a total learning experience and experiment to an extent.  were we firing this for the members we would have to back way off on the carbon trapping and the body reduction and also do a proper glaze reduction.  and though i was happy with the results from this load i found areas of the kiln i particularly loved so i’m going to have to work on refining the technique we’ve been using.

again, chistmas mentality took over (and the fact that j- is heading out in a few weeks) and we started scheming how we could fire it again before she leaves.  having someone to share the kiln with is good, make a little work, fire, fire, fire.  once she leaves i’ll have to put my nose to the grindstone to fill it.

j- is moving up to bowling green, ohio for grad school, which is were s- just got her bfa from, so in early august the three of us are going to head out on a short roadtrip to move j- up.  i have no connection to the area, just an extreme urge to TRAVEL.   we’re going to stop in on my friend k- in atlanta and mudfire.  from there we’ll stop in asheville, nc in hopes of checking out the highwater factory, odyssy center and maybe some local artists.

soda pop goodness.

friday night after a long week of work we loaded up the soda kiln.  c- was having an opening for his show in the gallery, everyone was wearing cute opening clothes, c- was even wearing pants, not shorts, but we were all sweaty and disgusting, shuttling work, wadding, loading.  we finished around 10, turned on the pilots and hung around the kiln pad for a few hours drinking and chatting with other a.i.r.s.

somehow i dragged myself out of bed at 6, getting to the clay company and doing my first turn up at 6:20 am.  it was really interesting flying solo.  for the first few turn ups i was a little insecure.  is this enough sputter?  too much?  but eventually i got comfortable trusting my gut.  r- taught me well, whenever i wasn’t sure i’d stop looking and listen to the fire.  sputter-check.

even at 6:20 am, it was already hot.  i spent the 28 minutes between turn ups sitting in one of the cushiony barber chairs yawning and sweating.  oh and i heated up my leftover gyro in the peep.  yum.  when j- rolled up with iced coffee, it was a good thing.

almost everything in the kiln was porcelain with no glaze.  we did a long, full on body reduction, adding wood to the ports in hopes of getting a good amount of carbon trapping.  there weren’t any major stalls, the kiln was pretty even troughout.  at the end of the day we had 11 flat on top and about halfway down on the bottom.  sodaed using a mixture of soda ash and baking soda in “chalupas” and sprayed and then added a bit of wood at the end.

good times!kiln 001

kiln 004

kiln 006

kiln 009

kiln 011

here are some pics of j-‘s sweet work!kiln 012

kiln 013

crazy days

i’ve had lots to post about but nothing but technological difficulties.  i bought a camera a month or so ago and it seems to be malfuctioning, actually it won’t even turn on.  am i cursed with all things electronic?  and in addition my laptop seems to be on it’s last breath.  i’m going to have to give in and get a new one soon.

but anyway, lots of stuff has been going on.  preparation for showtel 7 has been underway.  all my little microbes got finished up.  i ended up soda firing them and was pleased with the results.

working with the kiln tech to check my work i sorta kinda “solo” fired the minnasota flattop and the soda kiln sunday.  rudy, the flattop was done in a sweet 12 hours but our new soda takes a little longer.  we had it done in 16 which is about average.  hopefully as it gets fired more and we get to know it better  the average time will decrease a little bit.

our kiln tech is a really great teacher and i’ve learned a buttload from him over the course of my residency.  the soda kiln is a nice size to fill a load of my work and and fire solo, or to split with another resident.  after finishing up sunday evening, i was already amped to start making work for the next one.

i’m getting really interested in the soda finish i’ve been getting on raw porcelain.  i love the gray color and peach blushing that is typical of a soda fire, but for my work, the clean orange peel sheen is the best.  especially when you get the little gray squiggles.  i have so much detail in the form that putting glaze over it always seems like a bummer, but the soda sheen just coats it nicely, finishing it off.  we’ve been firing to about cone 10 each firing, but next time, when i can fill the kiln or split it with j who also uses porcelain i’d like to push it to cone 11 or 12 and really max on the soda.

anyway, tuesday we were able to unload.  everything came out great and is headed down to west palm with me today.  showtel 7 is saturday.  if you happen to be in the area, come on out!

microbes pre-fire.  will post fired pictures and installation shots asap.

monster pile

monster pile

monster egg sac

monster egg sac

top of monster

top of monster

monster detail

monster detail